FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Do hearing aids restore hearing?
There is a misconception that hearing aids restore normal hearing in the same way that glasses restore normal sight for most people. When there is a sensorineural hearing loss there is damage to the inner ear which results in fragmentation of sound and distortion. Hearing aids make the sounds a person can hear louder. Sound will still be fragmented and distorted.
2. Does speech need to be very slow for a person with hearing loss to understand?
There is a misconception that speech needs to be exaggerated to help someone with hearing loss to lipread. In fact shouting, carefully articulating each syllable or speaking slowly can distort facial expressions and speech. Lipreading becomes much more difficult.
3. Should hearing devices be taken off before going to the playground?
If anyone has tried to find a lost hearing aid or speech processor in the tanbark under a climbing frame when children have been running and playing, it is easy to think that it is better for hearing aids be kept in the classroom for safe keeping. However, in order for students with hearing loss to talk with their peers, they need to be able to hear them. Interaction is important to develop social skills and to build friendships. It is also a safety issue in that children may not hear warnings or be fully aware of what is going on around them in a busy environment.
4. Adjustments and accommodations give deaf and hard of hearing students an advantage over other students. True or False?
It is sometimes thought that if adjustments or accommodations are put in place for a student with hearing loss, that this is not fair for other students. Fairness can be thought of as a synonym for equality where everyone gets the same, however fairness is more properly equated with equity. Equity recognises that students do not commence their learning from the same starting point and so should not be taught in exactly the same way. The true definition of fairness is: "Fairness means that everyone gets what he or she needs." Richard Levoie https://www.ricklavoie.com/fairnessart.html
5. Are accomodations needed for a child with a mild hearing loss?
It is a misconception that a mild hearing loss is not significant. All hearing losses are significant and some or all speech and language will be missed resulting in an incomplete message. This is exacerbated when background noise is present. In the school setting accommodations should be put in place to ensure children have full access to learning.
6. Do cochlear implants restore hearing?
Cochlear implants can often be represented in the media as being a cure for hearing loss where hearing is restored. The cochlea of an undamaged ear contains approximately 16,000 hair cells. When these hair cells are damaged, the result is a sensori-neural hearing loss. The electrode array which is inserted into the cochlea usually contains 22 electrodes, and these 22 electrodes need to replace the 16,000 hair cells. The recipient of a cochlear implant needs training to interpret this new sound and learn to listen.
7. If unilateral hearing loss means a child has one ear with normal hearing, do they require any further support?
There is the misconception that unilateral hearing loss (also called single sided deafness) is not a cause for concern because there is one ear that hears normally. In fact, there is difficulty in localising sound (working out where sound is coming from), and this can have safety implications. There will also be difficulty hearing in background noise and over distance and these factors can affect the development of language, speech and learning. The head shadow effect means that sound coming from the side with a hearing loss is weakened in getting to the other ear because of needing to get around the head.
Read further information about Misconceptions about Hearing Loss HERE
Additional facts -
There is an association for speech pathologists who work in Deaf Education: SPIDE (Speech Pathologists in Deaf Education)?
More than 90 government schools teach Auslan as an additional language. Auslan is the sixth most popular language, following Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian and French. Auslan continues to grow in popularity. In 2018, 20,664 students studied Auslan in Victorian government schools. Auslan is also taught as a community language in 20 pre-school programs.
'Languages Provision in Victorian Government Schools, 2018'